CJPME laments re-establishment of police state in Egypt

Montreal, December 3, 2013  — CJPME urges Canada’s government and MPs to press Egypt’s interim government to rescind an anti-protest law severely curtailing freedom of assembly. The law, ratified November 24 by interim president Adly Mansour, obliges groups wanting to demonstrate to obtain seven separate permissions to protest publicly. It gives police the final say on whether a protest can take place and allows police to forcibly disperse even a legal protest if even a single protester throws a stone. It also bans overnight sit-ins. The law also stipulates harsh prison sentences for vaguely defined offences, such as attempting to “influence the course of justice” or “impeding the interests of citizens.” Continue reading


CJPME cancels Elizabeth May’s speaking engagement at Ottawa fundraiser

Montreal, Dec. 2, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has withdrawn its  invitation to Green Party leader Elizabeth May to speak at its  Ottawa fundraiser Dec. 5th.  The decision was taken  following the release of the full transcript of an interview May gave to the Jewish Tribune.  “When we invited May, we had assumed that she would present a position that was closely aligned to the official Green Party position on the Middle East and Israel-Palestine,” stated CJPME President Thomas Woodley.  The Green Party’s ‘Vision Green’ policy document on Israel-Palestine is clear in its intent to uphold international law, to promote the creation of a Palestinian state, and to seek to end the blockade of Gaza.  “Unfortunately, May’s comments to the Jewish Tribune indicated that she intended to stray surprisingly far from the ‘Vision Green’ platform in her speech at our event,” continued Woodley.  “As such, we felt it would be inappropriate to host her as a keynote speaker.” Continue reading


Latest Israeli settlement plans make peace negotiations irrelevant

Montreal, November 4, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East urges both the Harper government and the Opposition parties to take a strong stance against the dramatic wave of settlement expansions announced last week by Israel. According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the settlement approvals include both implementation of previously expansion plans plus completely new initiatives. “If Canada’s federal parties are still committed to the ‘two-state solution’ to the conflict, or indeed to any negotiated solution, they must vigorously oppose these plans,” warns CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Although both the US State Department and the UN Secretary General condemned the plans, announced October 30, Canada has remained silent. CJPME reminds MPs that establishing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories violates international law. Continue reading


CJPME to appeal TTC’s rejection of “Disappearing Palestine” ads

Montreal, October 24, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) intends to appeal the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) rejection of ads about various aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  CJPME learned Monday, Oct. 21, that its ads had been rejected by TTC staff. The centerpiece of the ads is a series of four maps depicting Palestinian loss of land over the past six decades, ultimately obstructing the creation of a viable Palestinian state.  In its rejection, TTC staff asserted that CJPME’s ads did not comply with the guidelines of the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, but did not specify what aspects of the ads were non-compliant.   Continue reading


Canadian gov’t could have secured Canadians’ release earlier

Montreal, October 7, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) joins other voices across Canada in celebrating Saturday’s  release of John Greyson and Tarek Loubani from detention in Egypt.  However, CJPME urges Canadian MPs to investigate the Harper government’s muted response to the arbitrary detention and brutal assault of the two Canadians.  Continue reading


Canadians launch hunger strike in face of extended detention

Montreal, September 16, 2013  — CJPME strongly urges the Canadian government to take stronger measures to press Egypt to release two Canadians—Dr. Tarek Loubani and York University film professor John Greyson—after the prosecutor yesterday extended their detention another 15 days. Today, it was announced that the two men had begun a hunger strike to press for their release. On transit to Gaza, the two were arbitrarily arrested on August 16. Loubani was going to Gaza to train emergency room physicians, and Greyson to work on a documentary film. The Egyptian police have yet to offer any evidence of wrongdoing, and neither Loubani nor Greyson have been formally charged with any offence. Continue reading


CJPME hosts tour by Israeli-American peace activist Miko Peled

Montreal, September 9, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is delighted to announce a public lecture tour by prominent Israeli-American peace activist and author Miko Peled. Peled, son of a celebrated Israeli war hero, has documented his disenchantment with Israeli policies toward the Palestinians in his book, The General’s Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine.  Peled’s lecture — Beyond Zionism: Hope for Peace in Palestine/Israel— will focus on his arguments for the “one-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his family’s growing opposition to Israeli policy from 1948 to 2013. The tour begins September 30 and ends October 8. Continue reading


CJPME: Egypt must immediately release Canadians detainees

Montreal, August 20, 2013  — CJPME is calling for the immediate release of Tarek Loubani, an emergency room physician from London, and John Greyson, a Toronto-based filmmaker and a York University professor.  Both were arrested on Friday, August 16, after walking to a police station in Cairo to ask for directions to their hotel. CJPME is extremely concerned that Loubani and Greyson are still detained in at Tohra prison in Cairo four days later, with very limited consular access.  Continue reading


CJPME: Coup is blow to democracy in Egypt

Montreal, July 4, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is deeply concerned for the future of Egypt’s democracy following the Egyptian military’s ousting yesterday of President Mohamed Morsi.  Morsi is the first elected President since the 2011 revolution and was removed following massive protests and an arbitrary ultimatum issued by the military. Morsi was declared deposed yesterday by a council led by defense minister Al-Sisi, and including the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, the Coptic Pope, and Mohamed ElBaradei—former Director General of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The military’s move came on the heels of days of massive demonstrations estimated to be Egypt’s largest ever.  Continue reading


CJPME: Canada’s aid to Palestinians avoids underlying issues

Montreal, June 17, 2013  —  Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) welcomes today’s announcement of a $25 million aid and security package for Palestinians.  However, CJPME strongly urges the government to complement the aid package with policy stances that address the underlying causes of the Palestinians’ dire  situation. Although Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird suggested the aid was for “prosperity and greater security,” the package as conceived will do little to improve Palestinians’ long term prospects for  either.  Continue reading